History Buzz June 22, 2009: The State Department Improves the Office of the Historian

HISTORY BUZZ:

POLITICAL HIGHLIGHTS:

BIGGEST NEWS STORIES:

THIS WEEK IN HISTORY:

IN THE NEWS:

OP-EDs & BLOGS:

  • Thomas Sugrue: Responds to criticism of his book, citing the myth of the white backlash Sweet Land of Liberty Democracy (6-15-09)
  • John Earl Haynes and Harvey Klehr respond to their critics: While we were writing Spies: The Rise and Fall of the KGB in America, based on Alexander Vassiliev’s notebooks, we anticipated a hostile reaction from battered but still rancorous remnants of the pro-Communist left in the academic world and partisan pundits. Together they have denied for more than fifty years that Soviet espionage in the United States in the 1930s and 1940s had much significance, denounced claims linking the Communist Party of the USA (CPUSA) with Soviet espionage, and proclaimed the innocence of many of those identified as Soviet agents…. – Washington Decoded (6-10-09)
  • Martin Kramer: Khalidi’s impact on Obama – Sandbox (6-13-09)
  • Deborah Lipstadt was at Holocaust Museum when shooting took place: I write this from my office in the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum where I have been privileged to have had a fellowship for the past semester. Up until Wednesday at 12:50 p.m., it had been a perfect visit. Everything a scholar could hope for: exceptional scholarly resources and a magnificent museum staff…. – Deborah Lipstadt in a commentary at CNN.com (6-12-09)
  • Garry Wills has nice things to say about Bill Buckley – Atlantic (7-1-09)

REVIEWS & FIRST CHAPTERS:

  • Gillian Gill: Married With Children WE TWO Victoria and Albert: Rulers, Partners, Rivals NYT, 6-21-09
  • Gillian Gill: WE TWO Victoria and Albert: Rulers, Partners, Rivals, Excerpt – NYT, 6-21-09
  • Donald McRae: Darrow for the Defense THE LAST TRIALS OF CLARENCE DARROW WaPo, 6-21-09
  • Clay Risen: HISTORY A Country Shaken A NATION ON FIRE America in the Wake of the King Assassination WaPo, 6-21-09
  • Karen Greenberg: Before Guantanamo Was Above the Law THE LEAST WORST PLACE Guantanamo’s First 100 Days WaPo, 6-21-09
  • Frank Gannon on Kevin Mattson: Days of ‘Malaise’ Ah, the Jimmy Carter era: presidential scolding, gas lines, Studio 54 and the ‘killer rabbit’ WSJ, 6-20-09
  • David Beito, Linda Royster Beito: Say bias has excluded civil rights leader T.R.M. Howard from pantheon Black Maverick: T.R.M. Howard’s Fight for Civil Rights and Economic Power Harper’s (6-11-09)

QUOTES:

  • Allan Brandt talks about the decline of big tobacco: “My own view is that in many ways, the tobacco industry invented the kind of special-interest lobbying that has become so characteristic of the late 20th- and earlier 21st-century American politics,” said Allan Brandt, dean of Harvard’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. “Today obviously, that lobby is much less powerful and successful than it was a generation ago,” said Brandt, author of “The Cigarette Century: The Rise, Fall, and Deadly Persistence of the Product That Defined America.”… – CNN (6-19-09)
  • Jeffrey Wasserstrom “Debunking the Shanghai myth”: Thus says noted historian Jeffrey Wasserstrom, who debunks the “East meets West” image of Shanghai. This label fails to capture the multitude of Western voices and Chinese viewpoints facing off and converging there, argues the author of Global Shanghai 1850-2010: A History In Fragments, published this year. “Global” Shanghai today is as much a hotpot for East-meets-East as West-meets-West. Yet, Professor Wasserstrom, who teaches history at the University of California, Irvine, himself was once victim to what he calls the “fairy tale versions of Shanghai”. He confesses to having felt “let down” during his first two visits to Shanghai in the 1980s, when he was confronted with “the contrast between the drab city I found…and the exciting one I had conjured up in my imagination”. Malaysian Insider, 6-21-09

PROFILES & FEATURES:

  • Bradley R. Simpson “Historian Claims West Backed Post-Coup Mass Killings in ’65”: Speaking on the opening day of an international conference in Singapore to discuss arguably the darkest chapter in Indonesia’s history, Bradley R. Simpson, an assistant professor at Princeton University and an expert on Indonesia, said that the US and British governments did everything in their power to ensure that the Indonesian army would carry out the mass killings…. – http://thejakartaglobe.com (6-17-09)
  • Kathryn Olmsted: UC Davis historian catalogs US secrets, lies and conspiracies Real Enemies: Conspiracy Theories and American Democracy, World War I to 9/11 Press Release (6-17-09)

HONORS, AWARDED &APPOINTED:

  • Henry Louis Gates, Jr. “Historian says Golden Horseshoe started path to success”: Henry Louis Gates, Jr., began his ascent as a renowned historian by winning what he would later call the “the Nobel Prize of eighth graders in West Virginia,” the Golden Horseshoe…. – Charleston Daily Mail, 6-19-09
  • Patricia McMahon Houser: An assistant professor of geography at Central Connecticut State University, is Putnam’s new county historian…. – The Journal News, 6-4-09

ANNOUNCEMENTS & SPOTTED:

EVENTS CALENDAR:

  • June 2009: National Archives Continues Year-Long 75th Anniversary Celebration in June with H.W. Brands, Donald Ritchie, Robert Remini – Press Newswire, 5-28-09
  • August 1, 2009: An Evening with Ken Burns: Kens Burns has been making documentary films for more than 30 years. Since the Academy Award-nominated Brooklyn Bridge in 1981, he has gone on to direct and produce some of the most acclaimed historical documentaries ever made. The late historian Stephen Ambrose said of Burns’ films, “More Americans get their history from Ken Burns than any other source.” This evening will afford Chautauqua an opportunity to hear one of the most influential documentary makers of all time. Chautauqua Institutition. For more info 716-357-6200. – Jamestown Post-Journal, 5-21-09

ON TV:

  • BBC to launch new series on history of Christianity – Religious Intelligence, 6-19-09
  • C-SPAN2: BOOK TV Weekend Schedule
  • PBS American Experience: Mondays at 9pm
  • History Channel: Weekly Schedule
  • History Channel: “Violent Earth: Nature’s Fury: New England’s Killer Hurricane” – Monday, June 22, 2009 at 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Life After People: Heavy Metal” – Monday, June 22, 2009 at 8pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “The Crumbling of America” – Monday, June 22, 2009 at 9pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “How Bruce Lee Changed the World” – Tuesday, June 23, 2009 at 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Comic Book Superheroes Unmasked ” – Tuesday, June 23, 2009 at 4pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Next Nostradamus” – Tuesday, June 23, 2009 at 8pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Life After People: Waters of Death” – Tuesday, June 23, 2009 at 10pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Underwater Universe” – Wednesday, June 24, 2009 at 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Decoding The Past: Mysteries of the Bermuda Triangle” – Wednesday, June 24, 2009 at 4pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Rome: Engineering an Empire” – Thursday, June 18, 2009 at 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Hippies ” – Friday, June 19, 2009 at 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Modern Marvels: 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s Tech” Marathon- Friday, June 19, 2009 at 4-8pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Battle 360” Marathon – Friday, June 26, 2009 at 3-7pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Life After People” Marathon – Friday, June 26, 2009 at 8-11pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Seven Signs of the Apocalypse” – Saturday, June 27, 2009 at 12pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Life After People” Marathon- Saturday, June 27, 2009 at 2-7pm ET/PT

BEST SELLERS (NYT):

COMING SOON BOOKS:

  • Douglas Brinkley, Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America, 1858-1919, June 30, 2009
  • Caroline Moorehead: Dancing to the Precipice: The Life of Lucie de la Tour du Pin, Eyewitness to an Era, June 30, 2009
  • Michael McMenamin: Becoming Winston Churchill: The Untold Story of Young Winston and His American Mentor, July 1, 2009
  • Elinor Burkett: Golda (Reprint), July 1, 2009
  • Mike Evans (Editor): Woodstock: Three Days That Rocked the World, July 7, 2009
  • Roger S. Bagnall: Oxford Handbook of Papyrology, July 14, 2009
  • David Maraniss: Rome 1960: The Summer Olympics That Stirred the World (Reprint), July 14, 2009
  • Buzz Aldrin: Magnificent Desolation: The Long Journey Home from the Moon, July 23, 2009
  • Alice Morse Earle: Child Life in Colonial Times (Paperback), July 23, 2009
  • William A. DeGregorio: The Complete Book of U.S. Presidents, Seventh Edition, August 15, 2009
  • Douglas Hunter: Half Moon: Henry Hudson and the Voyage That Redrew the Map of the New World, September 1, 2009
  • Annette Gordon-Reed: The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family (Paperback), September 8, 2009
  • Jon Krakauer: Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman, September 15, 2009

DEPARTED:

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History Buzz April 20, 2009: Did Lincoln Have Cancer?

HISTORY BUZZ:

POLITICAL HIGHLIGHTS:

BIGGEST NEWS STORIES:

  • Test of Lincoln DNA sought to prove cancer theory: John Sotos has a theory about why Abraham Lincoln was so tall, why he appeared to have lumps on his lips and even why he had gastrointestinal problems. The 16th president, he contends, had a rare genetic disorder — one that would likely have left him dead of cancer within a year had he not been assassinated. And his bid to prove his theory has posed an ethical and scientific dilemma for a small Philadelphia museum in the year that marks the 200th anniversary of Lincoln’s birth. – AP, 4-17-09
  • OAH Roundup: Highlights from the 2009 Annual Meeting of the Organization of American Historians – HNN
  • Remembering the late Prof. John Hope Franklin – Chicago Defender, 4-15-09

THIS WEEK IN HISTORY:

IN THE NEWS:

OP-EDs & BLOGS:

REVIEWS & FIRST CHAPTERS:

  • Steven P. Miller: God and Politics BILLY GRAHAM AND THE RISE OF THE REPUBLICAN SOUTH NYT, 4-19-09
  • Alexis Dudden: Impact of apologies on world politics focus of historian’s book Troubled Apologies Among Japan, Korea, and the United States UConn Advance, 4-17-09
  • Judith Schafer: Tulane historian delves into world of New Orleans’ 19th-century sex trade Brothels, Depravity, and Abandoned Women: Illegal Sex in Antebellum New Orleans The Times-Picayune – NOLA.com, 4-15-09

QUOTES:

  • Robert J. Allison “The Media Equation Cable Wars Are Killing Objectivity”: “The original tea party was something of a media event,” said Robert J. Allison, professor and chair of the history department at Suffolk University and author of “The Boston Tea Party.” “The papers at the time were very politicized and did a lot of campaigning during the run-up to the event.” He added: “When you think about it, they could have done worse than a bag of tea in terms of symbols. As a historian, I am charmed and fascinated that something that provoked the original revolution still has such resonance.” – NYT, 4-20-09
  • Alan Brinkley “They Don’t Make Populism in the U.S. Like They Used To”: “Today, populism is a kind of sentiment that bursts into view in times like these, but there is no real movement behind it,” said Columbia University historian Alan Brinkley. “The public just doesn’t mobilize around issues in the way it once did.” – WSJ, 4-19-09
  • Allan Meltzer: Federal Reserve Historian says Ben Bernanke will Bring us 1970s Inflation – Foxhound, 4-15-09
  • Nick Taylor “W.P.A. Projects Left Their Stamp on the Region”: Bethpage State Park and the old Jersey City Medical Center were expanded with labor provided by the Works Progress Administration, one of the vaunted New Deal programs that put millions of people to work around the country during the Great Depression. They make up what the historian Nick Taylor called the “invisible legacy” of Depression-era public works projects in the New York region. “That legacy is all around us,” said Mr. Taylor, author of “American-Made: The Enduring History of the W.P.A.” “We just don’t see it because we take it for granted.” – NYT, 4-19-09
  • Natalie A. Naylor “W.P.A. Projects Left Their Stamp on the Region”: “There’s this stereotype that people who worked for the W.P.A. were all raking leaves,” said Natalie A. Naylor, emeritus professor of history at Hofstra University and former director of the university’s Long Island Studies Institute. “That’s not really accurate at all. You had music programs and art programs in addition to construction projects.” – NYT, 4-19-09
  • Stephen Leishman “Historians: Don’t Forget Founding Fathers”: “We know him as a quiet man, but a powerful advocate of liberty in his writings,” said historian Stephen Leishman. Jefferson was not just a statesman, he was also a scientist, philosopher inventor and musician. “In today’s history, we kind of push back the importance of our founding fathers,” said Leishman. They say Obama could still learn a lot from Jefferson’s presidency, especially when it comes to education. “Because of all of his work for our liberties, and his emphasis on education, we have free education for everybody in the U.S.,” said Leishman. – News 8, 4-13-09

PROFILES & FEATURES:

INTERVIEWS:

HONORS, AWARDED &APPOINTED:

SPOTTED:

EVENTS CALENDAR:

  • April 20, 2009: Clifford E. Trafzer, UC Riverside professor of history and Rupert Costo Chair in American Indian Affairs, will discuss his research about the incident on Monday, April 20, at 6 p.m. at the Dorothy Ramon Learning Center, 17 W. Hays St., Banning. – UC Riverside, 4-9-09
  • May 2, 2009 The War of 1812 Revisited at Conference: The Fort La Présentation Association of Ogdensburg, NY is sponsoring a War of 1812 War College Saturday, May 2, 2009 – Press Release, 4-1-09

ON TV:

  • PBS, Tuesday at 10 p.m: Television: HIGHLIGHT AMERICAN FUTURE: A HISTORY BY SIMON SCHAMA – Globe & Mail, 4-10-09
  • PBS, Monday April 20, at 9pm: Seeing History Through Indians’ Eyes: “We Shall Remain” NYT, 4-12-09 (pbs.org/wgbh/amex/weshallremain)
  • C-SPAN2: BOOK TV Weekend Schedule
  • PBS American Experience: Mondays at 9pm
  • History Channel: Weekly Schedule
  • History Channel: “Life After People: The Bodies Left Behind” – Tuesday, April 21, 2009 and Friday, April 24, 2009 at 10pm ET/PT and Sunday, April 26, 2009 at 9pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Return of the Pirates”, “Shadow Force: Pirate Strike” – Saturday, April 25, 2009 at 8-11pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Decoding The Past: Doomsday 2012: The End of Days” – Sunday, April 26, 2009 at 8pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: ” Battles BC: Ramses: Raging Chariots ” – Sunday, April 26, 2009 at 10pm ET/PT

BEST SELLERS (NYT):

COMING SOON BOOKS:

  • Vincent Bzdek, Kennedy Legacy: Jack, Bobby and Ted and a Family Dream Fulfilled, April 27, 2009
  • Alex Storozynski, Peasant Prince: Thaddeus Kosciuszko and the Age of Revolution, April 28, 2009
  • Thomas Childers: Soldier from the War Returning: The Greatest Generation’s Troubled Homecoming from World War II, May 13, 2009
  • Simon Schama, American Future: A History, May 19, 2009
  • Geoffrey Blainey, Sea of Dangers: Captain Cook and His Rivals in the South Pacific, May 25, 2009
  • Douglas Brinkley, Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America, 1858-1919, June 30, 2009

DEPARTED:

April 13, 2009 History Buzz: “We Shall Remain” Premieres on PBS

HISTORY BUZZ:

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POLITICAL HIGHLIGHTS:

BIGGEST NEWS STORIES:

  • OAH Roundup: Highlights from the 2009 Annual Meeting of the Organization of American Historians – HNN
  • David Levering Lewis: On John Hope Franklin’s Moral and Intellectual Poise – The Chronicle of Higher Ed, 4-10-09

THIS WEEK IN HISTORY:

IN THE NEWS:

OP-EDs & BLOGS:

REVIEWS & FIRST CHAPTERS:

  • WALTER ISAACSON on Richard Beeman: A Delicate Balance PLAIN, HONEST MEN The Making of the American ConstitutionNYT, 4-12-09
  • Mark L. Bradley: Reconstructing Reconstruction Historian meticulously documents civil-military relations in North Carolina Bluecoats & Tar Heels: Soldiers and Civilians in Reconstruction North CarolinaNews & Observer, 4-12-09
  • James Carroll: The Believer PRACTICING CATHOLIC – NYT, 4-12-09
  • James Carroll: PRACTICING CATHOLIC, First Chapter – NYT, 4-12-09
  • Paul Buhle: The Mad Ones THE BEATS A Graphic History Text by Harvey Pekar and others, Art by Ed Piskor and others, Edited by Paul Buhle – NYT, 4-12-09
  • Simon Baatz on Jeff Guinn, Paul Schneider: TRUE CRIME Robbers of Romance: GO DOWN TOGETHER The True, Untold Story of Bonnie And Clyde, BONNIE AND CLYDE The Lives Behind the LegendWaPo, 4-12-09
  • Mark Rudd: HISTORY Tales from the Cult: UNDERGROUND My Life with SDS and the WeathermenWaPo, 4-12-09
  • Stefan Aust: TERRORISM At Least They Weren’t Nazis: BAADER-MEINHOF The Inside Story of the R.A.F.WaPo, 4-12-09

QUOTES:

  • Robert Weisbrot “What Obama’s Great Society challenge is, says Great Society historian”: Robert Weisbrot, co-author of “The Liberal Hour: Washington and the Politics of Change in the 1960s,” says the Great Society revolution was “tremendously liberating” for members of the most vulnerable groups in America.
    But historical circumstances won’t permit Obama to push through his own Great Society, Weisbrot says. “Obama is living in a different age,” Weisbrot said. “The circumstances won’t permit him to be another Lyndon Johnson.” – CNN, 4-7-09
  • Douglas Brinkley: Obama is America’s first global president: Barack Obama “is our first global president,” according to historian Douglas Brinkley. “Obama came of age, really, after the Cold War, with the Internet being the transformative engine of society, and he now takes his multicultural heritage and the geographical diversity of his upbringing” to the world, Brinkley said in an interview Tuesday as Obama wrapped up his first trip abroad. Brinkley, who has written about presidents from Teddy Roosevelt to Ronald Reagan, said Obama “is playing to the world right out of the gates, whereas most presidents have not.” – USA Today, 4-7-09

PROFILES & FEATURES:

INTERVIEWS:

  • Jeffrey Wasserstrom: Now agrees that Shanghai IS China’s most cosmopolitan city Global Shanghai, 1850-2010: A History in Fragmentshttp://www.cibmagazine.com, 4-1-09

HONORS, AWARDED &APPOINTED:

  • Jacob Soll: Rutgers–Camden Historian Receives Guggenheim to Study Libraries of The Enlightenment – News from Rutgers, 4-9-09

SPOTTED:

EVENTS CALENDAR:

  • April 14, 2009: Frostburg State University will host a panel discussion, “The Road to Obama: Celebrating African American Leadership,” will on Tuesday, April 14, from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Manicur Assembly Hall of the Lane University Center at Frostburg State University. – Appalachian Independent, 4-11-09
  • April 17-18, 2009: University faculty and leading scholars from across the nation will gather Friday, April 17 and Saturday, April 18 at the Law School for “Slavery, Abolition and Human Rights: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on the Thirteenth Amendment” a conference on the U.S. Constitution’s 13th Amendment. – The University of Chicago Chronicle, 4-2-09
  • April 20, 2009: Clifford E. Trafzer, UC Riverside professor of history and Rupert Costo Chair in American Indian Affairs, will discuss his research about the incident on Monday, April 20, at 6 p.m. at the Dorothy Ramon Learning Center, 17 W. Hays St., Banning. – UC Riverside, 4-9-09
  • May 2, 2009 The War of 1812 Revisited at Conference: The Fort La Présentation Association of Ogdensburg, NY is sponsoring a War of 1812 War College Saturday, May 2, 2009 – Press Release, 4-1-09

ON TV:

  • PBS, Tuesday at 10 p.m: Television: HIGHLIGHT AMERICAN FUTURE: A HISTORY BY SIMON SCHAMA – Globe & Mail, 4-10-09
  • PBS, Monday April 13, at 9pm: Seeing History Through Indians’ Eyes: “We Shall Remain” NYT, 4-12-09 (pbs.org/wgbh/amex/weshallremain)
  • C-SPAN2: BOOK TV Weekend Schedule
  • PBS American Experience: Mondays at 9pm
  • History Channel: Weekly Schedule
  • History Channel: “Patton 360” – Friday, April 17, 2009 at 8pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Black Blizzard ” – Saturday, April 18, 2009 at 8pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Next Nostradamus” – Sunday, April 19, 2009 at 8pm ET/PT

BEST SELLERS (NYT):

COMING SOON BOOKS:

  • Stephanie Cooke, In Mortal Hands: A Cautionary History of the Nuclear Age, April 14, 2009
  • Vincent Bzdek, Kennedy Legacy: Jack, Bobby and Ted and a Family Dream Fulfilled, April 27, 2009
  • Alex Storozynski, Peasant Prince: Thaddeus Kosciuszko and the Age of Revolution, April 28, 2009
  • Thomas Childers: Soldier from the War Returning: The Greatest Generation’s Troubled Homecoming from World War II, May 13, 2009
  • Simon Schama, American Future: A History, May 19, 2009
  • Geoffrey Blainey, Sea of Dangers: Captain Cook and His Rivals in the South Pacific, May 25, 2009
  • Douglas Brinkley, Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America, 1858-1919, June 30, 2009

DEPARTED:

  • Sidney Fine: University of Michigan Historian dies at 88 – Free Press, 4-6-09
  • J.M.S. Careless: Canadian historian dies ay 90 – CBCNews, 4-6-09
  • Steven Lee Carson: 66, dies. Wrote a play about Lincoln’s son. – WaPo, 4-7-09
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